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I recently purchased a Maine bear hunt with a few friends for this September. This is my first bear hunt and I was wondering if anyone had any insight. Any items I should plan to take? Any regulations I should know or pay close attention to? Any feedback would be helpful. I am an OH resident that typically hunts deer and turkey with my bow. Thanks.
Wait until they're broadside and that front leg goes forward...and have fun! They're neat creatures to see.
Cool! Hope your successful. Hopefully some of the more accomplished and wise bear hunters on this site will chime in with some good advice. Here is mine.....giving to me from a man who has killed or caused more bears to be dead then many guides.
Wait for a good shot. You usually have a little time when hunting over bait. Unlike with deer where they are passing through, when a bear comes in to your bait, he is where he wants to be if he makes there. Wait for the right shot and enjoy watching a bear be a bear. It's pretty neat. Good luck!
Read all the old threads on Bear Hunting, lots of good advice, and lots of different opinions, so you can read both sides, and decide for yourself.
A couple of random thoughts: THERMACELL, get 2, and bring a LOT of replacement cartridges and pads. You are better off forgetting your bow than your thermacell. Anyone who tells you that "the bugs won't be bad then" is probably lying, if the bears are out, the bugs likely are too.
Study the anatomy of bears, they are pretty easy to kill with a sharp broadhead through both lungs or the heart. BUT, they can leave a sparse blood trail, so a good shot is especially important.
Listen to your guide, let him guide you, not the other way around, too many people pay for local expertise, then decide they know more.
The bears know you are there, but they'll only tolerate so much, stay as still and quiet as possible, and draw when they are looking away or have their head behind something. Watch videos and learn to judge a bear's size, they are harder than many other animals to judge alive. The bigs ones often come in late. Remember, if a bear acts nervous, it's quite often because he is not the dominant bear on that bait. Shoot any (legal) bear that you want, but do be aware that a lot of people think they shot a tank, and walk up to one the size of a large labrador. You will hear that Maine doesn't have big bears, or that the aberage bear killed in ME is 150-175 pounds, which is probably true, but like any animal, the big ones are less common than the smaller ones. You have to pass on the small bears to shoot a big one. When you see a big bear you will know it, it moves differently than all the other ones, and it has an attitude that it's not afraid of anything in the woods.
Decide beforehand what you are going to do with the hide and meat. Take the meat, they are delicious, get it found, gutted and preferably skinned out quickly, and the meat will be great. Some guides and hunters routinely leave a bear in the woods to be recovered the next morning. That's not a recipe for optimum meat quality. If you are going to do a rug or a mount talk to your taxidermist about how he wants it skinned, it makes a difference.
Bring fishing gear and get a license, the fishing in Maine is excellent. You will most likely just be hunting late afternoons and evenings.
Have fun, enjoy the experience, and take a lot of pictures!
Thanks for the words of wisdom!!!!
Bear from the week I was up.
Bear from the week I was up.
Listen to your guide, if using bait wait for front leg to go in bait barrel, or front leg to move forward, shoot behind that shoulder about an inch or two. Be as still and quiet as you can, they will see you move or make noise and you won’t notice they are there. You can’t hear them come in they don’t really make a sound they just appear. They don’t always death moan, don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear it. I wouldnt say I’m biased towards fixed blade broadheads but when your paying for a hunt you don’t want anything to get in your way, personally i would use. Fixed blade. As for arrows, i would go with something like an FMJ or something that penetrates deep. My arrows always weigh around 580 grains, you don’t need that much but I want as much penetration as I can get. If using a barrel for bait if the bears stomach is higher than the barrel that’s a very good bear, look at the ears if they look huge then it’s most likely a small bear, and if the bears stomach is dragging on the ground that’s a shooter for sure. If hanging bait from the tree, if the bear can reach it sitting or has no problem reaching it that’s a shooter too. Look at the bears nipples, if there low don’t shoot it, it’s got cubs. Give the bear time don’t shoot as soon as you see it, the sow could have the cubs up a tree until she thinks the bait/area is danger free. Even though you can legally shoot a sow within cubs in Maine, it doesn’t really seem ethical to me. Plus, we want bear for our kids to hunt too. Enjoy the time, bear camp is always fun and will make you want to come back for more. I hunt bear in Allagash, Maine.
Some great insights posted above
Noted bear guide Gordon Bently told me to smile at the bear. I guess if you are smiling,then you are relaxed and will complete a good shot.
Thanks everyone. Keep them coming.
BOHUNTER09, that the Gordon Bently of Bear Paw Landing in Wabigoon?? Also owned a bow shop in Broadhead Wisconsin.